Struggle with your Mother Daughter Relationship?

For a decade or more, my mother (Barbara Janice Hughes Wilfong) and I have realized that we have something really special. We get along really, really well. A true lifelong blessing. And many of my friends, all of them from now all the way back to grade school friends, just love my “Mom Barb.” They ask about her, want to see her, admire her fashion and jewelry, want to receive a hand-written note with her lovely hand-writing, spend time with her, listen to her, share their story or issue with her, eat her delicious home-cooking, hug her, ride in the car and talk with her…the list goes on. You get the point!

During the COVID pandemic, Mom Barb and I took the opportunity to do a few projects, intentionally. The first project was pulling together all of my old t-shirts, and some of her t-shirts, and we then designed a t-shirt quilt. Mom Barb found an online group of quiltmakers, and got it done and delivered in August 2020. Then Mom Barb went thru her jewelry, and her mother’s jewelry, and she shared some pieces with me that she knew that I would willingly wear now. Today, I’m wearing some pearl studs. The third project had been started, stood in standstill, and then renewed itself again after we both were vaccinated in Spring 2021: drafting a book, highlighting the A-Zs on having an outstanding Mother Daughter Relationship.

So get ready to laugh, to cry, to think, to reflect, to take action, to love, to forgive, to make the extra effort, to stay quiet, to be supportive, to listen, to learn from, to help, to teach, to support, and on and on. And we will deliver it in an easy to grasp, from “A to Z” format.

Stay tuned. If you have a great story about your mother daughter relationship, please share it. If you’re struggling with this important relationship, I pray that our series of blogs/articles will help you and others.

Jen Wilfong, Sept 21, 2021

Spectacular SpaceX

Tonight, I witnessed the most spectacular thing that I have ever witnessed: four American citizens, who are not trained astronauts, buckled up and headed to space for three days. Yes, three days. And they will travel beyond the international space station. Beyond it!

In July 2021, Jeff Bezos and three fellow citizens were on his initial Blue Origin flight that orbited up and back in approximately 11 minutes, reaching approximately 100 kilometers above earth. Richard Branson’s initial Virgin Atlantic trip in early July 2021 reached about the same distance above earth, with his five colleagues, and they were in flight for more than an hour.

Billionaires in previous centuries changed our lives. Rockefeller did it with Standard Oil. Vanderbilt did it with steam engines and shipping, and then railroads. Carnegie did it with steel and steel rolls, which helped build the infrastructure of the USA. Ford did it with the Model T and the assembly line.

Elon Musk, the founder of SpaceX, TESLA, and Starlink, is an execution genius, with the mind-boggling strategic combination of four inventors: Steve Jobs (Apple), Henry Ford (automobiles with gas engines), Albert Einstein (genius), and John Glenn (first American astronaut to orbit earth three times in 1962).

Elon Musk and his SpaceX

Jeff Bezos and his Blue Origin

Richard Branson and his Virgin Atlantic

What is happening right now, in 2021, during a global pandemic, is spectacular. It’s far-reaching, futuristic strategy, that is being executed brilliantly and safely. Don’t miss it! Wake up, look up, be amazed, as we are all living in sensational times.

Jen Wilfong, Sept. 15, 2021

Learning From Centenarians

We all have life goals. One of my top life goals is to remain active, healthy, and really embrace wellness throughout life. Recently finished a few books about Centenarians, because I want to gain their insights and wisdom regarding what they did to hit 100+!

These 100+ year old people have always made me smile, but so many of these stories had me taking notes, crying, sharing the story out loud with others, and wanting to find more books to keep reading and learning.

What are some of the common traits that help them live to 100? My handwritten notes inside the front covers of all three books, that obviously impacted me the most, highlighted these areas of life:

Faith: Worship and believe. In something. And a willingness to give and be charitable.

Connection: Being around friends, family, and remaining social, as well as connected to a purpose. If that means making tortillas daily, and walking to the market to sell them, then so be it. That gave them the connection needed to keep going, at their pace.

Consistently physically active: Many of the children and grandchildren mentioned that their centenarian father or grandfather probably lived a long time, because they were always staying active on the farm, gardening, walking, traveling, or attending exercise classes.

Moderation: These centenarians really embraced the phrase, “all things in moderation”, especially with food, alcohol, (no)smoking, mood swings, etc. A bit of wine daily worked for some.

Sense of Humor: Many loved to laugh, and sought out being fun, funny, memorable, and unique. Being happy! And having a positive outlook, living peacefully with others.

Easy Going/Embrace Change: They understood the natural flow of life. The highs, the lows, and how to be resilient, as well as having the foresight to embrace change to forge ahead.

Water: They drank water, and ate from their own land. And were located near water, where it’s warm.

Lifelong Learner: Many of the stories focused on how they had to learn new skills, to handle job changes, relocations, and new things being introduced at rapid rates in the 1900’s.

Bottom line: keep one foot in front of the other, head up, living with no regrets, and moving forward in moderation. How are you doing with these? If you aren’t really focused on them, what do you want to focus on that’ll make you happy? In my future, I foresee myself interviewing centenarians, to share their incredibly resilient stories…and continuing to learn from their wisdom.

Jen Wilfong, Sept. 2, 2021

sources: If I Live to Be 100, by Paul Mobley; The Blue Zones, by Dan Buettner; Aging Gracefully, by Karsten Thormaehlen

That word, “Belief”

When Helio Castroneves won his fourth Indy 500 in May 2021, he thanked his new team owner and crew for “believing in me.” He’s only won the Indy 500 four times, and yet, he is thanking people for that word, Belief.

When Giannis Antetokounmpo was thanking and acknowledging the team, ownership, and fans when his Milwaukee Bucks won the 2021 NBA Championship, he was grateful for all those that believed in him. As a kid, who sold watches in the streets of Athens, Greece. And years later, he and his brothers are NBA champions. Whoever believed in him deserves a serious shout out.

Another key member of that Bucks’ 2021 Championship team is Jrue Holiday. He is one of the best defenders in the League; he was traded from New Orleans to the Bucks around Thanksgiving 2020. Fast forward, as he was celebrating the Bucks’ NBA championship, he too thanked his teammates and the organization for believing in him. Both Jrue and Giannis are All-Stars, heck, Giannis is a two-time NBA league MVP. And yet, they quickly commented that they were truly grateful that someone or some organization really, truly believed in them.

A young, seasoned and skilled athletic director at a small high school in Indiana texted me the a couple weeks ago to share that he was having a very important interview. He wanted me to know, because I had always believed in him, and told him that he would reach much higher heights in managing athletics. I believed in him. Yes, me, I believed in him. Although he was not selected for the job, he quickly let me know after he got the bad news. And guess what, I still believe in him and reinforced the message of “it’s not a no, its just not right now.”

Who do you believe in? Have you told them recently why you believe in them? If you haven’t done that, do it. And do it soon. Every single person on this planet needs someone in their corner, that ray of sunshine, a listening ear, the gentle or intentional hard nudge when necessary, and who will take a late night or early morning call when doubt sets in. They need that word, BELIEF. Be the change. Bring BELIEF to others.

Jen Wilfong

August 8, 2021

Everybody Has Something. Everyone.

If you think that everyone else is perfect in their world, well, it isn’t. Everyone is facing something. Everyone. In the last couple weeks, here are a few things that have happened with people very close to me:

My Neighbors

My next door neighbors recently were informed that BOTH of their 80+ year old mothers have bone cancer and multiple masses.

The guy who lives two doors down received horrible news by two different oncologists that he has stage four cancer, all over his body.  His mind and heart are good though, and he presses on with faith.

My Work

Multiple people in South Florida that I coach mentioned that they had some connection to a few of the people who went missing and were killed during the Surfside condo collapse in the early morning of June 24, 2021.

One of our contractors just lost his mother; he sat by her bedside for nearly two weeks.  And once she passed, his father quickly changed, started going to the casino and spending money like a crazy man.  

My Family

My own mother is making multiple trips to the doctor to understand why is she so short of breath, fatigued, and frustrated. Thank goodness that I can join her on these appointments.

My father bought a wonderful mare (horse) a couple years ago, to have future race horses. However, this week, the mare got extremely ill, and had to be put down due to severe colitis. And another race horse broke its leg, and another mare got her leg wrapped up in a neighbor’s wire fence. Yes, thank goodness for vets who cared for two of the three horses, but the loss of the good mare hurts.

My niece just recently was divorced, after a 17-year marriage.

My Friends

My best guy friend has been helping care for his parents for the last 3 years, and his mother passed away last week. 

A girlfriend from high school texted me late last evening, as her husband just was diagnosed with stage three colon cancer.

Our Ohio friends both are helping tend to their mothers’ well being, as both of their fathers have already passed.


In the last month, I have faced a battle with shingles, and the aftermath of all the meds to treat the shingles.  And then, I got tangled up in some poison oak while gardening. Intense rash on my body now over the last month. Grateful for my healthcare, but geez, really don’t even want to go see the doc.

Life throws us challenges, and of course, many opportunities.  Although life may look all rosy and fun, most are facing something.  How are you truly understanding what people are going through? Are you showing patience, or jumping to conclusions? How are you offering to provide support, or are you? What happens when you need someone or something?

Please remember, everyone has something.  Everyone.

Jen Wilfong, July 13, 2021

Cousins Staying Connected

My cousin, a smart and savvy 28 year old, and me, at 56 years old, have really connected since hanging by Lake Wawasee for my 50th birthday (in August 2014). She came to the lake again the following couple years.  And then, we connected up again during COVID, in January 2021, at our home in Lake Worth Beach, FL. 

My cousin? She makes the effort.  She communicates well with adults, older adults and older cousins.  She makes trips to see us.  She takes business trips to further her career with a sports tech start-up.  She takes trips with friends to discover the world.  And, she remembers.

During a couple of our “cousin convos”, I had mentioned that I would charter a jet and bring friends to see Coldplay or KYGO if they were to ever perform at Red Rocks Amphitheater in Colorado.  Well, sure enough.  In early June 2021, one of her work colleagues let her know that KYGO was coming to Red Rocks.  She confirmed it, and texted me immediately. She remembered our “cousin convo”.  She remembered!

We quickly bought four tickets to KYGO, on row 5, then started booking airfare.  I invited another friend, but he couldn’t make it.  Invited my niece, and she first declined, but then decided to make the trip, too. Bottom line: we had five of us, ranging in age from 28 to 76 on row 5 at the KYGO concert on June 24, 2021.  What a blast, a memory of a lifetime.  And my cousin made it happen, because she remembered our conversation about a bucket list concert.

Are you staying connected with loved ones? Are you asking unique questions? Are you listening, and remembering their answers? If YES, way to go and keep doing it.  If NO, then ask yourself, “if you aren’t staying connected, asking questions, and listening for answers, then WHEN will you do it?”

Don’t wait.  Life is short.

Jen Wilfong


Re-thinking Something? Nearly Everyone Is Doing It.

In every single conversation that I am having, nearly everyone is re-thinking something. Everyone is doing it. Everyone.

Up to 40% of Americans working right now are re-thinking things about their job. They are thinking about quitting their job. Many liked the flexible work from home (WFH) model during the pandemic, and may now actually prefer a hybrid work week of WFH and in the office. Others are ready to re-educate themselves, and start a new career. This may be due to losing a loved one during the pandemic, and realizing that life is indeed, short. The phrase “do what you love, love what you do” is in high gear right now.

Up to 50% of Americans over the age of 55 are re-thinking how they want to live the next phase of their lives. My partner has owned not one, but three RV’s in the last three years. She sold one to a 65 year old entrepreneur who just sold his company, and has a sick wife. He said, “if we don’t travel now, when are we going to travel?” She sold her older RV to a confident millennial, who is trekking cross country in it, while working remotely.

Many veterinarians are re-thinking if they want to just be a vet, or really run and operate a vet clinic. A colleague of mine just bought three vet practices TODAY, yes, TODAY. And intends to buy 100 more vet practices by yearend 2021. Why? Vet practices are slammed, after many Americans bought a new pet or added a pet during the COVID pandemic. Families are re-thinking their own households, and adding pets.

Mothers, fathers, and couples are re-thinking when to have children, and how many, or if any at all. The US birth rate recently fell another four percent, to its lowest point since 1979. Countless couples are traveling locally and globally, working remotely, and living the life now, all while delaying and/or reducing the amount of child births….instead of the former thought of work, kids, work, and more work, then retire and die.

One of my work colleagues recently shared with me that his son, a professional baseball prospect and a high school student, is re-thinking how he gets his high school diploma. Instead of sitting in class or virtual classes from 8am to 3pm, his son will be improving his baseball skills from 9am to 4pm, and then do virtual learning in the evening via another state’s high school education program. Yes, another state.

Young adults are now re-thinking the cost vs. value of going to college. Enrollment has dropped, as young adults are making decisions to learn online, work full-time, hustle with a few gigs, etc. and employers are realizing that many entry level jobs no longer need a college degree as a pre-requirement.

A couple of our friends in Texas just sold their home, retired from teaching, and are going to travel and live in their travel trailer. They are completely re-thinking how to travel, how to live after retirement, and are taking their sweet time to figure out “where” they will retire.

The average size of home sold in the last 12-15 months is 33 sq. feet larger than the previous year. People are re-thinking their homes, how they use them, and are wanting more space for “flex”, i.e. work from home, exercise room, virtual learning area.

Google and YouTube have seen a 16X spike in “electric vehicles” searches in the last few months. Drivers and car owners are re-thinking their fuel costs, or maybe their own personal carbon footprint, or simply embracing the latest technology.

During the pandemic, millions who stayed home started reading “Reddit”, and learning how to invest on Robinhood. They now are re-thinking how they can invest, and increase their returns. Many of these millions of online investors had never been involved in investing just two years ago.

As a coach, an important question that I’ll be asking this summer: Leaders, what do you suppose your employees are re-thinking? Leaders, are you ready for a potential exit of some of your talent? Leaders, are you really ready to listen to your employees’ needs and wants, and then respond with a win – win solution? Leaders, are you ready to hire new talent that has different career aspirations? Leaders, are you ready for employees to want an EV plug-in dedicated area in your company’s parking garage? Bottom line: be ready, because everyone is re-thinking something. And if you think they aren’t, then you might just be out of touch.

Jen Wilfong, June 2021

142,000 COVID deaths = The 737 Airplane Crashing 811 Times

More than 142,000 Americans have died due to COVID19, according to public health data. And yet, some Americans are resisting this data, and many are not wearing masks for the health and well being of themselves and others.

Let’s take a completely different look at some data points:

The popular 737 airplane, that many global airlines utilize, seats between 162-189 passengers. Let’s round that to 175 passengers. The 142,000 COVID deaths would be similar to a 737 plane crashing and killing all aboard for 811 straight days. We ALL know that if this were to really happen more than 2-3 days in a row, all 737’s would be “shut down” from flying. They would be “grounded” immediately.

And here are some other mandated data points:

In most states, smoking is not allowed in most public places. This is due to facts of first and second hand smoke being potentially lethal. Why do we now have “no-smoking” laws? for our own safety and well being of others.

In every town and city in America, we have state laws that require us to wear our seat belts. And for child seats in the back seat for our children under certain ages. Why? for our own safety and well being of others.

On every road in America, we have “boundaries” with white and yellow lines and dashes painted to remind us of where to drive, how to stay in our lane, and when it’s ok to pass and merge. Why? for our own safety and well being of others.

When you fly anywhere now, you must pass thru security and provide your identification, and prove that you are not carrying any item that may harm others. Why? for our own safety and well being of others.

When you renew your drivers license, you must pass an eye test. I just completed this last week, and it was gratifying that I could do it easily…but the person next to me absolutely could not see nor read the eye test. Why do we succumb to the eye test? for our own safety and the well being of others.

When restaurant workers go to the bathrooms in their restaurants, they are required to wash their hands, since they are handling the food that we are about to eat. Why do we ask them to wash their hands? for our own safety and well being of others.

When you go to the dentist for a cleaning or checkup, notice that the dentist and the techs are all wearing gloves and many are wearing face shields…and have been wearing them way in advance of COVID19. Why? for our own safety and well being of others.

My request to anyone who is resisting wearing a mask when asked to: just wear it. Be reminded of ALL of these examples above, and many other examples that I haven’t listed, that are in place for your own safety and the well being of others. Wear Yo Mask. #WearYoMask

It’s Worth The Drive

17.5 hours to drive home.

Another 2 hours to drive and visit with Mom and Dad.

Another 3 hours to do the drive-in birthday party for my niece on her 21st birthday.

Another 1 hour to drive back to lay my head down for the evening.

And then return back home, another 17+ hours.

Was it worth it? Absolutely.

During my 20’s, 30’s, and early 40’s, there were times when frustration would hit me at my core when someone would die that I truly admired, respected, and loved. After that would happen, I just kept saying to myself that I wanted to ensure that my last moments with those type of people in my life were positive, peaceful, and freeing. Releasing. Like that song, “It Is Well With My Soul.”

Over the last 10-20 years, making an effort to see OTHERS has been so impactful on them; so fun seeing their surprise and feeling the strength of our ongoing relationship grow. Even during this public health COVID19 pandemic, I made the decision to visit all these friends and family. And did it with the safety precautions that were comfortable to me, and respectful to them, too.

Make the drive. Take the trip. Go see the people who matter to you. Make those memories. Live your life. Have no regrets.


During this Covid19 global pandemic, I have been faithfully watching the TV show, “Survivor.” The cast is competing, surviving, living minimalistically, and trying to figure out who to trust. Sound familiar to our daily lives, during this public health crisis right now?

We all are competing. For our lives. Our health. Our work. Our jobs. Our business. Our livelihood. Our stature pre and post Covid19. Our normalcy.

We are surviving. The majority of us are trying to stay healthy, and yet remain active. Millions are in food lines, many people and families that have never been in those lines. Thousands are recovering from the complications of Covid19, and thousands have passed. Millions globally are grieving, and wonder why did I make it, and others didn’t make it. Many just want their lives back to normal.

We are living minimalistically. For the last two months, I haven’t painted my toe and finger nails. And guest what? It’s ok. They are trimmed and clean. We haven’t gone out to eat, and only picked up carry-out a couple times. Our entertainment consists of watching Robin Roberts on Good Morning America at 7am E and then David Muir nighly at 630pm E on ABC. To keep those laughing, facial muscles in shape, we squeeze in some comedy regularly. Music rings daily through the house. Repetitive meals seem to be just fine, with very little variety . Even our clothes and make-up are simple and minimal. We are surviving, and it’s ok.

Aren’t we all trying to figure out who to trust during this pandemic? That’s a difficult one to figure out, right? Are our political and community leaders truly caring about our health and well-being, or trying to get re-elected? Are businesses re-opening with safety in mind, or money in mind? Are restaurants carefully preparing food, or are they just wanting to get it out the door for the carry-out order to be paid? Are our health care providers being provided what they need in a timely fashion, or are they being forced to cut corners as they care for all types of patients and diseases and emergencies?

Keep surviving, my friends, keep surviving. The last time that I seriously watched “Survivor” was when I was very ill, recovering from two surgeries in the first six months of 2000. Now that was surviving, as there were a few days that I didn’t think I would make it. But somehow, I did. We all survive in our own ways. Trust yourself, trust your instincts, and take care of yourself and others that you can impact. Survive, and look to Thrive.